Portland Scene: A George Michael cover band, Patty Schemel’s documentary and more

Let me tell you about the lesbian flavored few weeks that I just had. Not only did I see If These Walls Could Talk 2 for the first time and run into an ex at the art museum (filling my Bette Porter experience quota for the month), I also lost my Michelle Tea virginity and started reading Valencia. What’s that you say? How do I call myself a lesbian having never experienced these things? I’m not actually sure how I have made it this far without seeing Chloe Sevigny and Michelle Williams get busy but I’m making up for lost time and am anxiously awaiting my official lez card in the mail.

In related news, October turned out to be an extremely fruitful social month as well. Here’s what went down.

DJs Slutshine and Brodeya have been bringing Portlanders the monthly event Rebel Grrrl for an entire year and you know there’s nothing ladies like to celebrate more than an anniversary.

Held at Sloan’s Tavern the second Tuesday of the month, Rebel Grrrl provides all the angsty lady jams one’s heart could desire. This month, in addition to playing all our favorite riot grrrl cuts, Rebel Grrrl invited some live bands from last month’s Not Enough music fest to help celebrate their one-year anniversary. Claw vs. Claw, Cocninos and XXXplosionZZZ brought some extra rock before Slutshine and Brodeya finished the evening with some Sleater-Kinney, 7 Year Bitch and PJ Harvey nostalgia. Really, any party that will humor my love of all things ’90s with Lisa Loeb and Sarah McLachlan is the tits in my book.

Having been invited to what was only explained to me as “soul night,” I was excited to step out of the usual queer scene and try something new. Upon finding the event on Facebook, the party was called Sugar Town and was, in fact, a queer soul night. Touché Portland. Either way, Sugar Town was celebrating October’s festiveness by claiming this month’s installment to be an outfit party. They had me at seasonal colors.

While I missed out on the palm readings and oompa loompa dancers, I will say that the Saratoga’s vintage vibe lent itself perfectly to DJ Action Slacks’ selection of classic soul, R&B and blues. Local celeb Wyatt Riot co-produced the evening and Hungry Heart Cupcakes provided the sugar.

I will go ahead and say that Wicked Awesome was the most ingenious Big Homo Halloween Party and Queer Cover Bands Show I have ever attended, even if it was my first. Hosted by the fabulous Feyonce and produced by party extraordinaire Freddy Fagula, there was really no way this evening would disappoint. Throw in a cutthroat costume competition and you’ve got yourself one wicked awesome party.

Now even an average day in July can feel an amateur costume contest here in Portland, so Halloween is an ordeal of epic proportions. That being said, costume contests should be left to the professionals even if you’re impressed with what you’ve managed to put together and your dog thinks you’re cool. At this year’s second annual Wicked Awesome, I found out first hand that even the best ensemble Little Mermaid cast costume doesn’t stand a chance against the seasoned queers of Portland. Unfortunately, in all the ruckus of going on stage in full spandex and all my sober glory, I failed to figure out who actually won. Pretty sure it was the epic air-dancer-puppet-tube-person costume, which was by far my favorite of the evening.

That brings us to the cover band portion of the evening. Up until recently, I believe my George Michael fetish had been overshadowed by my childhood love of the other George, Boy George. Turns out, a stage full of attractive ladies wearing leather jackets and solo cross earrings will make you forget all about those ribbon-braided locks. That’s right, this year’s headliner was an all-girl George Michael cover band, Georgina Michelle. Featuring members of Gossip, Sweet Flowin’ Love, Judy and The Butchies, the Georgina’s brought the swagger that had me waking up the next morning singing Careless Whisper. Speaking of, the sexy saxophone man was also in attendance. I can feel your seething jealousy from here.

Also, seeing King Triton sucking PBR through a straw to get through his beard is topping my list of funniest experiences ever.

While some of us may have needed recovery time from Halloween, the ladies over at Siren Nation were hard at work putting the final touches on the fifth annual Siren Nation Women’s Music and Art Festival. The event, spanning four days, included amazing art, powerful workshops and an amazing line-up of artists but most importantly, what made all of our queer hearts a flutter was one Patty Schemel.

And I quote, “Patty Schemel is my spirit animal.” – Trish Bendix

Since I had missed Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel the first time it came through Portland, I was exceptionally tickled to get another chance to witness all the drugs, grunge and Courtney Love clown face that it had to offer. The rockumentary’s interviews and home footage were intimately personal and unprecedented answering controversial questions about Patty’s leaving Hole and how the grunge movement did, in fact, steal their fashion sense from lesbians.

What I took away from my intimate evening with Patty was this: Who knew there were so many hot gingers in Hole?! I certainly didn’t and if I hadn’t been drinking the NSync Kool Aid in the ’90s, I’d have had my bedroom wall plastered with Patty instead of Justin Timberlake.

Next month, look forward to a Goth night with bingo, Brandi Carlile and trying to squeeze back into the ol’ spandex for an upcoming space odyssey-themed party when I’ve already started hitting the holiday cookies hard.